The popularity of social media keeps rising. Statistics show that the number of global social media users has reached 3.196 billion in 2018. With the popularity of these channels, the number of your competitors using them also grows.
So, how can you cut through this social media noise and inspire your customers to choose you over your competitors?
Well, instead of promoting your brand on your own, let someone else do that. Someone knowledgeable and respected in your niche. Someone your customers trust and follow online. A social media influencer.
But, how to find and connect with the right influencers?
Let’s find out.
Who are Influencers and why are They Important?
People don’t love self-serving and aggressive brand promotion. To make sure they make the best buying decisions, they look for unbiased product reviews online.
Recent studies tell us that 49% of Twitter users search for influencer reviews when making purchases, while 40% of them were directly inspired by influencers to buy a product.
This is why businesses need to rethink their strategies and revamp their traditional approach to digital marketing. To attract and retain customers, you need to work with key opinion leaders in your industry.
These are people who have invested a lot of time and effort in building their online authority and forming an extensive group of their personal brand advocates.
It doesn’t matter if it’s a blogger, an industry expert, a product reviewer, an influencer shapes the way people perceive your brand and products.
And, the implementation of KOL marketing can benefit your brand in numerous ways:
- It boosts your trustworthiness. The mere fact that their social media idols vouch for you tells your potential customers that you’re worth their attention.
- It makes you more accessible to a wider audience.
- Influencers inspire people to buy from you in an organic and engaging way.
- Influencer marketing boosts your SEO. First, they will make your content more visible. Second, they will drive quality traffic to your site. Above all, links and mentions from highly authoritative people tell Google that you’re valuable to your customers.
No matter the platform – whether you are looking for influencers to boost your Twitter, Instagram or Facebook marketing strategy – understanding who these influencers are, how they behave, and where to find them can bring huge improvements to your marketing game.
How do Influencers Behave on Social Media?
Being an influencer doesn’t mean posting a bunch of content and reaching out to wide groups of people randomly. On the contrary, to build trust, they need to have a strategy that works. So, it’s not surprising that, irrespective of their niche, almost all influencers share the following attributes:
- An extensive following. To be an influencer, one is supposed to have some sort of influence, right? And, the levels of this influence are usually measured in the number of their followers. To be more precise, we’re talking thousands or even tens of thousands of their followers here.
- Niche relevance. To set themselves apart from a sea of their rivals, influencers need to share high-quality and industry-specific content, relevant to their followers. Each post they share and comment they leave is backed by up-to-date stats and actionable tips that really make sense.
- Persuasiveness. When an influencer tells a story, everyone is listening to it. They invest a lot in building trust among their target audience. This gives them the power of forming people’s attitudes and changing their perceptions.
- Engagement. Sometimes, the number of one’s followers is not enough to become an influencer. A person who doesn’t share their posts regularly, answer their followers’ questions instantly, or doesn’t show up online for days is not an influencer. Influencers plan their day-to-day social media activities in advance. They communicate with their followers in real-time, via multiple channels, and have an entire social media calendar worked out.
- Consistency is reflected in numerous elements, such as their unique language, voice, and tone. Influencers also use the same colors, filters, fonts, and patterns when creating visual content. That’s how they build a recognizable personal brand.
- An understanding of marketing. Finding an influencer who will take your money to spread the word about your business is not that difficult. However, this is not enough for you to launch a successful influencer marketing campaign. Work with people that know how to convey a message to their followers spontaneously and how to promote your brand naturally.
Use the Right Tools to Find Them
You can look for influencers manually, but this process will eat up a lot of your time. To make your search more fruitful, consider investing in the right set of tools. Here are a few tools you might find useful.
LinkedIn is a perfect place to begin your search. You can start by typing your industry name in the LinkedIn search box and filter the results in numerous ways using the Advanced People Search option. Once you find the influencers in your niche, try out some icebreakers such as liking or commenting on their posts before reaching out to them.
Twitter offers some great influencer detection options. First, it monitors the type of people you follow and provides you with relevant suggestions. Second, if you search by the topic, its Accounts option allows you to see all Twitter users that have this topic in their bio. Finally, you can leverage Twitter Advanced Search to conduct more precise searches.
BuzzSumo is a super-powerful content marketing tool that helps you discover fresh topics for your content, as well as find and monitor trending content effectively. It also has an awesome outreach feature, created specifically to help people like you find top bloggers in their niche. It will give you an invaluable insight into the number of their followers, the total number of shares per post, retweet ratio, etc.
Klout ranks online users on a score between 1 and 100. The average Klout score is around 40 and the individuals with the score higher than 60 are among the top 5% social media users. Of course, this doesn’t mean that you must connect with the people with the highest Klout score. It would be difficult to get Tom Hardy or Lady Gaga to retweet your post, right?
Reach out to Them Wisely
Once you’ve identified relevant social media influencers, you need to know how to address them wisely.
They receive mountains of emails on a daily basis, so find a way to stand out.
Take a look at their site and social media profiles to know how to address them.
Offer something really valuable to them and their target audience. Be it an invaluable insight, a giveaway proposition or a content contribution, keep in mind that it’s not always about you. Show them how they can benefit from endorsing you.